D.A.R.E Essays: 20 Years In the Future.
July 25, 2001 7:17 PM   Subscribe

D.A.R.E Essays: 20 Years In the Future. "After getting addicted to marijuana, I tried angle dust, heroin, and other dangerous drugs that could kill me. A couple of days after my 17th birthday I joined a gang. Well anyway, the way I got killed was in a gang fight. P.S. If you ever read this I hope that you never go down the same path I did. You should stay in school and don't do drugs." Right.
posted by Mark (27 comments total)
"I bet when they were younger they would say, 'I will never get addicted to cigarettes or drunk from drinking.'"

I used to say this. I never thought I'd get drunk from driving. Little did I know. I started driving two years ago. It was just short distances at first, and I thought I could handle it. People told me that I should be careful--that if I drove too much I'd get drunk--but I didn't believe them. Then I started to get cocky. A long distance road trip one weekend. A job with a commute. Oh, it's easy to see now how foolish I was being, but I was young, and like all young people, I thought I was immortal. Now I've seen what such behavior leads to. Now I spend all my days in a drunken stupor brought on by nothing but driving.

There's no hope for me, but I hope children who read this will learn from my mistakes. Be aware of the dangers of driving! Seek out a city with good public transportation and stay there. Avoid owning a car if you think you will be tempted to use it too often. And when you want to get drunk, even if a car's very convenient, and driving seems like the easiest and cheapest way to do it, please remember the dangers of getting drunk from driving, and use alcohol instead.
posted by moss at 7:30 PM on July 25, 2001

Aaah, angle dust. Drug of choice for geometricians everywhere.
posted by waxpancake at 7:49 PM on July 25, 2001

moss, are you drunk now?
posted by hotdoughnutsnow at 7:56 PM on July 25, 2001

D.A.R.E. to be a T.O.O.L.
posted by elle at 8:22 PM on July 25, 2001

LOL, waxpancake.
posted by lotsofno at 9:38 PM on July 25, 2001

Bravo, moss.
posted by Zettai at 10:26 PM on July 25, 2001

can anyone dig up that report on D.A.R.E. that they sued to keep sealed?

the one where it was proven that the program was a failure?
posted by jcterminal at 11:41 PM on July 25, 2001

Yeah, sure, you may have avoided drug addiction and lived a happy, productive life, BUT I GOT TO SEE JIMI HENDRIX, MICKEY MOUSE, AND DOM DELOUISE COME OUT OF THE CLOUDS and take me to their teepee in the middle of the desert AND SHOW ME THROUGH A SERIES OF EVENTS (that can not be described in the normal everyday language of a "happy and productive" life) GOD AND THE MEANING OF EVERYTHING, OF LIFE AS WE KNOW IT AND DONT KNOW IT.... WHICH IS NOTHING!

So ha!
posted by Espoo2 at 11:48 PM on July 25, 2001

While DARE may be silly and ineffectual, do you think kids shouldnt be educated at all about these things?
posted by owillis at 12:10 AM on July 26, 2001

Of course they should be educated.

The big problem with DARE is that it was never about education -- it was about proaganda.
posted by fidelity at 4:13 AM on July 26, 2001

c'mon fidelity, if D.A.R.E. was anything, it was actually anti-aganda. k.. that was silly...

anyway, just out of curiosity as i haven't heard much about it, what was the propoganda behind D.A.R.E?
posted by lotsofno at 5:16 AM on July 26, 2001

I remember DARE. The officer came in and it was a break from the usual elementary school fare. I do not remember anything else except the curriculum ran parallel to the totally ineffectual "just say no" campaign.

They never really talked about drugs and what they do to your body. I imagine they used some of the similar tactics the web site of today uses. I know I didn't think back to my DARE officer when the drugs and alcohol passed in front of me. I DO remember going to Safety Town...I think that's a much more effective use of our law enforcement in classrooms.
posted by karenh at 6:07 AM on July 26, 2001

DARE?? Not propaganda????

Hello!!! A central part of the DARE curriculum is devoted to "empowering" kids to TURN THEIR PARENTS IN FOR SMOKING POT!

posted by preguicoso at 6:55 AM on July 26, 2001

D.A.R.E exists because it makes local politicians look good, gives local cops a cushy alternative to sitting in a cruiser all day, and provides some serious income to the town. Plus, parents get a cool bumpersticker and, they assume, a "Get Out of Teaching Your Kids About Drugs" Card.

It's similar to the 80s' "Just Say No", only it's different: the message of D.A.R.E is "Just Say No Just Say No Just Say No Just Say No Just Say No Just Say No Just Say No Just Say No Just Say No Just Say No". See?
posted by jpoulos at 7:03 AM on July 26, 2001

Propaganda is propaganda is propaganda. I didn't find out that marijuana wasn't addictive until high school. Shameful.
posted by tweebiscuit at 7:21 AM on July 26, 2001

Oh, get the hell outa' here! You mean D.A.R.E. doesn't stand for Drugs Are Really Excellent?
posted by srw12 at 8:09 AM on July 26, 2001

I want to be a god role model for my kids

Wow, megalomania?
posted by binkin at 8:17 AM on July 26, 2001

What I remember about D.A.R.E. is that when the officer came into the classroom to explain it all to us, he picked me as his "druggie" example to illustrate some thing or other to the class. Said I just "looked the type".
I have never in my life have used a drug in a recreational way. I don't smoke, I don't even drink.

I did learn a bit about cops that day.
posted by dong_resin at 8:18 AM on July 26, 2001

I think the most useless piece of anti-drug propoganda is the DEA's publication, Get it Straight. Notice the white kid, the asian girl, and the black kid with the standard-issue backwards hat. Makes me really relate to a group of kids about drugs when their names are Ashton, Nin-Hai, and K'Vohn. My favorite part is when they talk about marijuana:
If you look like you're going to sell the drug, the punishment is more harsh. Well I wonder whose fault that is?
posted by MarkO at 8:45 AM on July 26, 2001

Did K'Vohn have a ridged forehead and bad teeth?
posted by dong_resin at 9:15 AM on July 26, 2001

"On many music videos the people smoke a lot of weed and look like they're 'all that.' Don't believe the hype. Smoking blunts can have negative effects too!"

You go girl! I'll stick with my gravity bong, thank you very much.
posted by tweebiscuit at 9:33 AM on July 26, 2001

It starts with eating cheese. You start with an innocuous slice of Swiss, you put it into your mouth. When people pass it around, there's the peer pressure. Pretty soon, you're taking home blocks of cheese home on a nightly basis and you're on a first-name basis with the supermarket clerk who runs it through the price scanner.

The next thing you know, you're doped up in an alley on heroin.
posted by ed at 12:21 PM on July 26, 2001

I think it's heroin that leads to cheese, not the other way around. Heroin is a dairy gateway.
posted by Ezrael at 12:33 PM on July 26, 2001

While DARE may be silly and ineffectual, do you think kids shouldnt be educated at all about these things?

Not by someone silly and ineffectual, but yes. One of the ways I'd like to see them educated is by sitting down and honestly discussing what a drug really is. For instance, why are marijuana and cocaine bad and tobacco and alcohol good? How many drugs are illegal because of misconception and propoganda, and how many are legal because they have a powerful lobby?

For instance, the social costs of alcohol abuse so far outweigh those of heroin abuse as to be almost laughable. But that's not a cry for heroin legalization, nor is it a cry to outlaw the booze, merely a desire to see real understanding replace hysteria. I personally think the negative aspects of drugs like cocaine and amphetamines speak for themselves...so why not simply provide those facts? Similarly, while psychoactive drugs do have side affects when misused, I am glad I have had the experience with them that I have.

I would like to be able to have open debates about this, without the "Drugs BAD! People doing drugs BAD!" howling at maximum volume. People do drugs every day, whether they be the legal ones like Caffeine, Alcohol and Nictotine or the illegal ones like Cocaine, Heroin and Ketamine. (I'm deliberately ignoring the whole prescription medication boondoggle here, because its such a wide field and what those medications treat is often life-threatening, but they can also be abused, like Oxy-Contin as recreational drugs.) It's hard to find a drug free person nowadays.

And that's what I would like to see our kids taught, that this issue is complex, and that no outright refusal to consider the issues and implications can possibly help them make sense of it. I'd like to see them actually taught what these drugs do, all of their possible effects. That would require us to examine them instead of hiding from them, I suppose.
posted by Ezrael at 12:49 PM on July 26, 2001

Huzzah, Ezrael!!
posted by BoyWithFez at 12:59 PM on July 26, 2001

jcterminal: is this the one you are looking for?

I, too, would like to see money spent on programs that work rather than those that are good PR for the Police Dept.
posted by eckeric at 2:01 PM on July 26, 2001

Today's Economist cover story: The Case for Legalization. The issue also contains a survey of illegal drugs. Not really news that they are pro-legalization, but it bears repeating (by them) since I like to imagine that cover on the desks of politicians, senior bureaucrats and executives around the world.
posted by sylloge at 2:07 PM on July 26, 2001

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